In 1330, Neustift am Walde (the area between Dreimarkstein and the Michaelerberg) was mentioned in a document for the first time. The name dates back to 1413, when the area was handed over to the Dorotheerstift monastery in Vienna (Neustift am Walde translates to “new monastery by the forest”). Back then, the small settlement consisted of 24 homes whose inhabitants were all farmers and mainly produced for personal needs. However, at that time, the wine from the area already had a good reputation and was traded.
A place steeped in history
Besiegement by the Turks (1529 and 1683)
In the following centuries, the small town saw its fair share of misfortunes: First, there were the besiegements by the Turks in 1529 and 1683, followed by an outbreak of the plague in 1713. Another three decades later the area saw a series of failed harvests – even if in hindsight this proved to be a blessing in disguise, as this is when the renowned ‘Neustifter Kirtag’ originated. It was decreed as some sort of ‘financial therapy’ by Empress Maria Theresia when she returned the ‘vintner’s crown’ to the local vintners.
Neustifter Hauer zurückgegeben hat.
The wine custodian
This is why every year since 1753 the ‘Hiata’ (wine custodian) and his entourage travel from house to house at the end of August to celebrate the dignitaries.
Hiata is a synonym for the wine custodians who, during the ripening season, used to guard the grapes from their tiny shacks. This may no longer be necessary but the custom survived and once the harvest has come to its end, the custodians enter with pomp and splendour - just like in the old days. The custom dates back to the middle ages and the oldest lists of wine custodians can be traced to the 16th century.